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Title: Soil erosion and hydrological response to land abandonment in a central inland area of Portugal
Authors: Nunes, Adélia de Jesus Nobre 
Coelho, Celeste de Oliveira Alves 
Almeida, António Campar de 
Rodrigues, Albano Augusto Figueiredo 
Keywords: land abandonment; runoff; sediment yield; soil recuperation; inland Portugal
Issue Date: Jun-2010
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Project: POCTI/GEO/49371/2002 
Serial title, monograph or event: Land Degradation and Development
Volume: 21
Issue: 3
Abstract: This paper analyses the effects of land abandonment on runoff and sediment yield in a central inland area of Portugal. Rainfall simulation experiments were performed in areas of traditional land use (land cultivated with cereals) with various types of soil plant cover associated with the period of abandonment (4–5 years, 15–20 years and 30–40 years) in two different seasons, namely under very dry conditions and after a long wet period. Statistical analysis showed a notable difference between the cultivated soils and those abandoned for a long period of time, which included appreciable vegetation recovery, higher organic matter content and negligible overland flow and soil loss. Cereal cultivation, in particular ploughing, is a very negative land management practice, due to the high runoff and soil loss.Within 4–5 years a crust develops over abandoned soils with sparse herbaceous plant cover, particularly after a dry season, which enhances runoff and sediment yield. In scrubland and oak plots, although marked water repellency was registered at the end of a dry, warm season, its influence seems to be irrelevant in terms of overland flow and erosion yield. The major factor in controlling overland flow and reducing soil erosion rates appears to be the role played by vegetation in protecting the soil surface and supplying organic carbon to the top layer
ISSN: 10853278
DOI: 10.1002/ldr.973
Rights: closedAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CEGOT - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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